Monthly Recommended Listening: ‘Spooky’ Halloween Edition

Welcome back to our Monthly Recommended Listening!

Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate classical pieces. Listening to music is not only enjoyable but is also beneficial in development many skills including coordination and self-confidence that will continue to be useful for your child throughout their lives.

This month, The Strings Club Head Office team has gathered for you the best ‘spooky’ pieces of music alongside some fun facts and links to YouTube and Spotify to celebrate Halloween!

1) Toccata and Fugue in d minor, J.S. Bach

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue is one of the most well-known pieces of music associated with Halloween. This spooky organ piece fits in perfectly with the season with its creepy sounds, imitating the sound of creaking boards and ghosts.

Listen to Toccata and Fugue on YouTube or Spotify.

2) Piano Sonata No.2: III. ‘Funeral March’, Frederic Chopin

Chopin’s iconic ‘Funeral March’ which appeared in the 1830s as the third movement in his Piano Sonata No. 2 was first performed at Chopin’s own funeral. The work imitates the solemn pace of a funeral procession – an exceptionally beautiful yet haunting piece.

Listen to Piano Sonata No.2 on YouTube or Spotify.

3) Symphonie fantastique: Fifth movement, Hector Berlioz

‘The Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath’ is the fifth movement from Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. It depicts the scene of demons and sorcerers gathered to celebrate the Sabbath night. Listen closely – Can you hear the bells ringing towards the middle of the piece?

Listen to Symphonie fantastique on YouTube or Spotify.

What next?

If you like the sound of these spooky pieces of classical music, why not join us at our Holiday Camps this October Half Term where we take your child on a spook-tacular musical adventure with a range of Franken-tastic Halloween-themed workshops!

From Halloween arts & crafts to drama workshop on ‘The Wizard Of Oz’, there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Find your nearest Holiday Camps here

Celebrating our new partnerships – We are teaming up!

We’re delighted to announce that we’re teaming up with The Royal Schools of Music, pre-school music organisation Rhythm Time and the truly delicious Boston Tea Party!

The Strings Club has worked with The Royal Schools of Music over the last few years to ensure your child will be able to regularly work towards something exciting and worthwhile on our Term Time Courses. Exciting new additions include Rhythm Time and Boston Tea Party – Find out more about our brand new partnerships below!

 

Music Medals, The Royal Schools of Music

The Strings Club is incredibly proud to be partners with Music Medals, a fantastic award scheme established and run by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). Whereas typically it might take over a year for a beginner to reach the standard to enter for Grade 1, Music Medals can be achieved every term giving your child something really rewarding to practice towards.

 

 

Rhythm Time

Offering weekly classes for newborns to pre-school children, Rhythm Time is perfectly placed to start every child’s musical journey before joining The Strings Club at age 4.

Founder Kathy Doolan states “We are delighted to be in partnership with The Strings Club and it is a very exciting opportunity for our pupils. Our courses are a perfect preparation for playing any string instrument and this partnership means our pupils can progress onto the next step in their musical journey.”

 

Boston Tea Party

With a range of delicious cakes, organic dishes as well as some yummy coffee, funky independent café, Boston Tea Party is teaming up with The Strings Club in September 2017. Our award-winning Discovery Days will be taking place at a range of Boston Tea Party venues.

 

Join us at our Discovery Day at Boston Tea Party venues!

Read more about our exciting partners

Our fabulously spooky workshops this October Half Term!

Although it seems like the long summer holidays have only just come and gone, the October Half Term is also around the corner! 

This October Half Term, we will be taking your child on a spook-tacular adventure at our award-winning Holiday Camps with a range of Halloween-themed workshops to compliment our high-quality small group instrumental classes.

At our Ofsted-registered Holiday Camps, your child can enjoy making new friends, build confidence and develop not only musical, but also personal skills whilst being in a friendly, safe and truly inspiring environment.

The workshop theme for October Half Term is everything Halloween! This will ensure consistency throughout the week whilst maintaining the high-quality of engaging activities we offer. Through this, we aim to guide the development of every child’s capabilities and skills on a daily basis to ensure that they truly benefit from our award-winning Holiday Camps.

Here are some of our hauntingly magical workshops carefully created by our Digital Marketing and Events Assistant, Asako, taking place this time around!

Imagination Station

Get your creativity ready with this highly exciting workshop! There will be a variety of arts & crafts based on the theme of the week – Halloween. Let’s see where our imagination takes us!

Join us on Monday 23rd October

 

 

Performarama

Based on the magical story of “The Wizard Of Oz”, children will be encouraged to act out as their favourite characters. They will also be exploring what happens on the ‘yellow brick road’ as they create their own additions to the story – What a fantastic session for your child to boost that confidence!

Join us on Tuesday 24th October

Music In Motion

It’s time to express yourself! This workshop based on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will encourage your child to express themselves by exploring dance and body movements.

Join us on Wednesday 25th October

 

 

Meet The Composer

The composer of the week is Hector Berlioz, best known for his “Symphonie Fantastique”. In this workshop, we explore how the orchestral effects are used within the work to create the scene of a gathering of witches!

Join us on Thursday 26th October

Pieces Of Me

In all the excitement of the activities during the Halloween season, the dangers can often be forgotten. In this inspiring workshop, we explore how we can keep safe on the night.

Join us on Friday 27th October

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our October Half Term Holiday Camps are already proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield | Solihull

Join us this October Half Term

Director Amy is shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

We’re delighted to announce that The Strings Club founder and director, Amy Cunningham, has been shortlisted for the Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award at this year’s NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards!

The Strings Club beat off some competition in order to make the regional shortlist, with over 1000 businesses entering the awards nationally across the wide range of categories.

Now in its fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards acknowledges the hard work and inspiring stories of British entrepreneurs and businesses in Great Britain.

Since launching in 2012, The Strings Club has gained wide recognition for its refreshing approach to music tuition. From this year alone, we have been nominated for ‘Businesswoman of the Year Award’ for Birmingham Awards as well as “Best Independent Children’s Activity” for Whats On 4 Kids Awards.

Take a look at the rest of our awards 

Monthly Recommended Listening: Classical Music for the Autumn Season

Welcome back to our Monthly Recommended Listening!

Every month, we are here to help you inspire your child with some season-appropriate classical pieces. Listening to music is not only enjoyable but is also beneficial in developing many skills including coordination and self-confidence that will continue to be useful for your child throughout their lives.

This month, The Strings Club Head Office team has come up with a list of classical music alongside some fun facts and links to YouTube and Spotify to celebrate the season of the golden leaves and misty mornings.

1) The Four Seasons “Autumn”, Antonio Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s “The Fours Seasons” were written to portray the events and emotions of the seasons. This set of movements in particular celebrates the harvest season with uplifting songs and dances. The final movement also illustrates a scene of brave hunters!

Listen to The Four Seasons “Autumn” on YouTube or Spotify.

2) Les Saisons “September: The Hunt”, Pyotr Tchaikovsky

The Russian composer’s “Les Saisons” is a set of twelve short character pieces for piano. His “September: The Hunt” portrays the hunters in their hunting dress mounted on their horses. Can you hear the horses galloping?

Listen to Les Saisons “September: The Hunt” on YouTube or Spotify.

3) Herbstrosen, Josef Strauss

The Strauss family was known for making dance music fashionable in the early 19th century, taking Vienna in particular by storm. Josef Strauss, the brother of Johann Strauss II, went on to write 283 compositions, including his Herbstrosen (‘The Autumn Rose’) in 1867.

Listen to Herbstrosen on YouTube or Spotify.

What next?

Is your child ready to move onto the next stage, but not sure which instrument to start on?

Why not come along to one of our Discovery Days where your child can try their hand at playing ukulele, violin and guitar and receive two 20-minute lessons, all for free!

 

Find your nearest Discovery Days here

Our partnership with ABRSM – Giving your child something worthwhile to work towards

At our Term Time Courses, we’re incredibly proud to be partners with Music Medals, a fantastic award scheme established and run by the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM). With The Strings Club, your child will be able to work towards a Music Medal award on a regular basis, tracking their progress term on term.

Well done to all children who took their music medal awards last term. We have once again received fantastic results, and are waiting on a few more to come through – Congratulations to each and every one of you!

Take a look on our Sharing and Celebrating page to see the recent achievements of children enrolled on one of our award-winning Term Time Courses.

What’s special about Music Medals?

1) Whereas typically it might take over a year for a beginner to reach the standard to enter for Grade 1, Music Medals can be achieved on a termly basis giving your child something really rewarding and worthwhile to practice towards.

2) Music Medals are convenient for you as a parent too, as they always take place at the venue of your child’s lessons, rather than at an exam centre, and typically on the same day as a regular lesson.

3) The examinations are cost effective with prices beginning from only £11.50 and involve:

  • an ensemble-based piece
  • a solo piece
  • a short musicianship test

4) Starting with Copper and moving up progressively to a Platinum (equivalent to GCSE A* and ABRSM Grade 4 standard), Music Medal awards also count towards valuable points to the Qualifications and Credit Framework, which can be used as part of an academic application in UK.

Entrants are nominated by their Strings Club teacher and, if successful, they will be awarded with a Music Medal as well as their own certificate.

Take advantage of our Autumn Early Bird offer!

Book your child onto a Term Time Course and our October Half Term Holiday Camp and receive 10% off both – Offer ends a week on Friday, so hurry!

Please note – to claim our Autumn Season Early Bird offer, bookings must be made over the phone only. Minimum number of sessions to be booked at our Holiday Camp is 2 mornings, 2 afternoons or one full-day. Discount does not apply to our wrap-around care prices.

Book your child onto a Term Time Course today

Our unmissable “Disney-themed” workshops are coming soon

Today we are thrilled to share with you what’s in store during the Week 6 of our Holiday Camps this summer!

Here is a sneak peek at our “Disney-themed” week – Monday 21 – Friday 25 August throughout all locations.

 

Big Sing Song

“You’ve Got A Friend In Me” is known to many as a joyful song of lasting friendship. What makes a good friend? Learning to feel valued for our individuality is fundamental to developing into confident individuals. We will be taking your child on a musical journey – singing and dancing on the way!

Join us on Monday 21 August

 

 

Meet The Producer

Many children will recognise his iconic animated creations such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, but do they know who is actually behind such creations? In this ever-so-exciting workshop, we will be exploring the life and achievements of Walt Disney, discovering more about his magical characters!

Join us on Tuesday 22 August

 

Music In Motion

This workshop is inspired by the enchanting story of “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll and it’s all about exploring physical movement and expressions! How would you walk through a narrow corridor if you suddenly became ten times bigger? Or even, smaller?

Join us on Wednesday 23 August

 

Pieces Of Me

Following our Performarama workshop based on the popular “Inside Out”, in this inspiring session, we will be having a deeper look into what goes inside our head, exploring various emotions and developing an understanding of different feelings. We will also be making connections between emotions and music – in the most fun and enjoyable way with lots of shapes and colours!

Join us on Thursday 24 August

 

Imagination Station

Whether it’s drawing, painting, building or even sculpting, we believe giving your child freedom over their creative work is absolutely crucial. The sun doesn’t have to be a yellow splotch and the ocean doesn’t have to be a blue smudge, so let’s get those creative juices flowing!

Join us on Friday 25 August

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our Ofsted registered Holiday Camps are inclusive and accessible – They provide a friendly, safe and inspiring environment where children make new friends, build confidence and learn skills whilst having a huge amount of fun.

Our Summer Holiday Camps are proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

See here for a full list of our weekly themes

Coming up – Our fantastic “Fairies & Dragons” week!

Today we are pleased to share with you more about what lies ahead during the Week 4 of our Summer Holiday Camps!

Here is a sneak peek at our “Fairies & Dragons” week – Monday 7 – Friday 11 August.

 

Sounds and Colours

This week is all about fairies and dragons, and we will be starting our week off getting slightly messy… With paints, feathers and glitters, your child will be designing their own dragon eggs – with hidden instruments inside them!

Join us on Monday 7 August

 

Big Sing Song

We love a good old sing song here at The Strings Club, and in this exciting workshop, your child will learn to sing and dance to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” from the Disney classic –  “Mulan”. If your child loves to sing, this workshop will be absolutely perfect for them!

Join us on Tuesday 8 August

 

Meet The Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

Did you know that Felix Mendelssohn started composing when he was just 10 years old? In this exciting, we will be examining his life and music, in particular, one of his most known works, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Join us on Wednesday 9 August

 

 

 

Performarama “The Neverending Story”

Based on the epic fantasy story of “The Neverending Story”, children will be reading this enchanting story and then encourage to act it out as their favourite character! An unmissable and a truly wonderful way for your child to build confidence.

Join us on Thursday 10 August

 

Music In Motion

This energetic workshop is truly action-packed and fun-filled! Using a song from a popular movie “Shrek”, children will be interpreting the words from the song using their bodies. Don’t forget to bring your shoes for this one!

Join us on Friday 11 August

 

Book now to avoid disappointment!

Our Ofsted registered Holiday Camps are inclusive and accessible – They provide a friendly, safe and inspiring environment where children make new friends, build confidence and learn skills whilst having a huge amount of fun.

Our Summer Holiday Camps are proving very popular and there are limited places available – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

See here for a full list of our weekly themes

BBC Proms – The Strings Club Recommends

If you are a music enthusiast like us, the BBC Proms will undoubtedly be the most anticipated ‘musical jamboree’ of the summer. It is not only the world’s largest classical musical festival, but is also one that showcases the best international musicians, conductors and personalities from around the world. This year’s ever-so-popular musical celebration runs from Friday 14 July – Saturday 9 September, and we cannot be more excited!

Here at The Strings Club Head Office, we have each picked out some of the highlights from this year’s event, especially for you.

The Strings Club Recommends:

 

Amy’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 19: Relaxed Prom (Saturday 29 July, 12:00)

A concert suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities as well as individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted. This first ever Relaxed Prom is a fun and interactive musical experience in a welcoming environment, with plenty of opportunities for participation. The programme includes music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and John Strauss II, as well as Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ theme.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: At The Strings Club’s workshop, your child will be singing their hearts out to Pharrell Williams’s “Happy” in our ever-so-popular interactive ‘Big Sing Song’ workshop!

Our Big Sing Song: “Happy” workshop is coming to our Hampstead, Brockley and Harborne Holiday Camps on Tuesday 29 August.

Jasmine’s Pick 

 

  • Proms Extra: NYO Young Promoters (Saturday 5 August, 17:30)

Join musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at this unique and friendly event for teenagers hosted by the NYO’s Young Promoters – a great chance to find out about the music in this evening’s Prom.

Find out more about this event here

Charlotte’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 14: Holst – The Planets (Tuesday 25 July, 18:30)

In this evening’s event, Holst’s galactic suite conjures up the epic scope of a movie blockbuster in luminous music of infinite vistas, while Vaughan Williams’s enigmatic final symphony also revels in an augmented sound-world: it’s a piece the conductor, John Wilson, sees as a suitably radical counterpart to The Planets.

Find out more about this event here

Daniel’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 15: The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) (Tuesday 25 July, 22:15)

An icon of the 1960s, Scott Walker has travelled from Walker Brothers teen idol to avant-garde contemporary musician, influencing artists from David Bowie and Leonard Cohen to Goldfrapp along the way. This evening’s Late Night Prom tribute presents tracks from his four self-titled albums with live orchestral backing for the very first time.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: Are you a fan of David Bowie? In The Strings Club’s special David Bowie workshop, we hope to build your child’s appreciation for the music of the British musician and cultural icon whilst encouraging them to understand the importance of individuality.

Our Meet The Artist: David Bowie workshop is coming to our Holiday Camps across all of our sites on Thursday 27 July.

Asako’s Pick 

 

  • Prom 8: Celebrating John Williams (Thursday 20 July, 19:30)

John Williams is among the greatest of film composers – His scores for Star Wars, Harry Potter, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and the Indiana Jones films have made him a household name. The BBC Proms celebrates his extraordinary achievements in a concert to mark William’s 85th birthday.

Find out more about this event here

Something extra: In The Strings Club’s John Williams workshop on, your child will explore how his world-famous soundtracks can be used to tell a particular story, specifically using his music from Star Wars.

Our Meet The Composer: John Williams workshop is coming to our Holiday Camps across all of our sites on Thursday 31 August.

Your first time?

 

The Proms are the perfect occasion to try a classical concert for the first time, and with your child too. However, if you can’t make it to Royal Albert Hall, don’t worry, you can watch the catch up on TV or tune into Radio 3!

Which event are you interested in? Let us know over on our Facebook page – We would absolutely love to hear your thoughts!

Like the sound of our workshops too? There’re only limited spaces available for our Holiday Camps this summer – Book now to ensure your child isn’t disappointed.

For more info, simply click below on the Holiday Camp you are interested in:

Hampstead Islington | Balham | Brockley | Harborne | Sutton Coldfield

Click here to find us on Facebook

How can we keep your child inspired this summer?

As a mum of a two year old, I already feel a slight breathlessness when I think about the summer holidays. Of course, it is a wonderful time for memorable experiences with our children and a great chance for us to go places and see things that we usually don’t have the time to do during the weekends. However, the reality also is that most parents have to work and not everyone is lucky enough to have a close family member or friend around the corner who will be able to look after our children whilst we are working, especially for free!

What’s more, knowing that your child is doing something meaningful and worthwhile is also so important, I find. For example, I would not be very happy if I had paid for my child to attend a Holiday Camp and all they did was play in a sandpit all day and be bored. Of course, there are childcare providers out there that do provide this low level of childcare however as a mum and alongside being the director of The Strings Club, my job and main priority is to ensure that this does not take place. I want all children that attend one of our Holiday Camps to have truly memorable experiences with us – and for the right reasons too!

I wanted to ensure that children not only had a great time with us at The Strings Club but also that every day was wonderfully different for them. Recently joining me at the head office is Asako Zavertajeva-Onishi, a post graduate of the Birmingham Conservatoire with a real passion for designing music workshops and educational activities for children. Asako carefully creates every workshop that takes place at our Holiday Camps and each one, from our Big Sing Song, to Sounds and Colours to Meet the Composer ensures that your child develops in more ways than one! As we have many children attending throughout the whole summer holidays, we also have ensured that every week has a different theme and I am so excited about this summer’s themes – ranging from Musical Heroes (including a workshop on David Bowie which I cannot wait for!) to our Celebrating Cultures where we take your child on a musical adventure across the world. For more information on our weekly themes for this summer, please see our previous blog post here.

To ensure that our Holiday Camps offer only the best in childcare and music education, I also created a “Your Child’s Development is Key” that outlines what skills children will develop with us on a daily basis. These include music-based skills, physical education, communication and language and personal, social and emotional health too. We have implemented these factors into each and every single activity that takes place at our Holiday Camps. You can find out a little bit more about this on our website too here.

Finally, I hope I have shown you my utmost passion towards what we do at The Strings Club and our Ofsted-registered Holiday Camps. I would love nothing more than your child to join us this summer holidays and for not only your child to be enthralled with their time with us but also for you as a parent to feel happy and comforted that your child is happy and in safe hands.

Join us at a Holiday Camp this summer!